Floating wind design: analysing deep sea challenges for the Stinger Keel

Our analysis of a cutting-edge floating wind foundation design – the Stinger Keel – is helping address the challenges of making huge turbines safe and affordable to build and install in the harsh conditions of deep seas.

Being able to operate safely and efficiently in deeper waters is key to helping the offshore wind industry expand, helping meet carbon reduction targets. Using floating turbines in high seas will become increasingly essential, as suitable fixed bottom sites will soon become congested in some countries, while others don’t have the luxury of a shallow continental shelf.

However, the harsher environment brings challenges that need addressing. Wind turbine foundations and mooring systems need to cope with more extreme wave and hydrodynamic forces, and the turbines with stronger wind forces.

Our engineers have been helping solve these issues, using physical and computational models to examine the Stinger Keel’s hydrodynamic performance as part of a one-year project funded by Innovate UK. Our simulations showed the wave pressures exerted on the Stinger Keel foundation structure under a range of conditions. Properly understanding and quantifying these hydrodynamic forces is key to a successful engineering design.

Our data and modelling will be used by consortium partners to perform further structural analysis and refine the design. Having determined the most efficient dimensions for the design, construction costs can be calculated, which towards the end of the project will be fed into calculations of the cost per unit of energy produced – the levelized cost of energy.

Watch to find out more about the Stinger Keel project
Detailed scope

Physical modelling

  • Model (1:67 scale) built of the Stinger Keel structure, including its folding hinge.
  • Swing tests measured the oscillation and extracted mass properties.
  • Un-moored and moored decay tests in still water investigating natural periods and damping.
  • Model tested in our Fast Flow Facility under irregular and regular wave conditions and two different mooring configurations.

Numerical modelling

  • Developed OpenFAST model.
  • Calibrated and validated using data from the physical modelling.


Contact us for more information
Mike Case
Business Development Manager
+44 (0)1491 822899